From September 4th to September 8th,2017, the Estonian School of Diplomacy (ESD) hosted an 18-member delegation of diplomats from Ukraine for a study visit that focused on issues of soft power diplomacy and hybrid warfare. The delegation had the pleasure of meeting their peers from the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as officials from various governmental institutions, including the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the Government Office of Estonia. The delegation also met with a group of researchers from the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS) and the Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership (ECEAP).
The highlight of the study visit was the expert workshop on September 7th entitled “Information, Cyber and Hybrid Means as New Warfare Methods”, jointly hosted by the ESD together with the ECEAP. The workshop started with a panel discussion moderated by Piret Pernik, a research fellow from the ICDS, with panellists Dmytro Zolotukhin, the Deputy Minister of Information Policy for Ukraine, Dmitri Teperik, the chief executive of ICDS projects in Ukraine, and Sergiy Korsunsky, the director of the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine. The second panel included Dace Kundrāte, a senior expert with the NATO Strategic Communication Centre of Excellence, and from Ukraine Analytica; Hanna Shelest, editor in chief, and Yevgenia Gaber, deputy editor.
The panellists discussed the challenges and threats facing Ukraine, the existing experience in countering these challenges, and how to prevent them in the future. The discussions centred around issues such as resisting disinformation and questions such as, how to effectively stem Russian disinformation while adhering to values such as freedom of speech. Panelists stressed that Russia’s ability to reframe narratives. Also, they highlighted current domestic difficulties within Ukraine, such as the deepening lack of trust between society and government. The last part of the workshop concluded with a detailed look at the mechanisms used to frame the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, and the effective use of strategic communication by the Turkish government.
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On May 26 the study group of 2016/2017 graduated from the postgraduate diploma program „International Relations and European Integration“ of the Estonian School of Diplomacy. 23 students from 10 different countries were part of this year’s study group. The countries that were represented, were the following: Afganistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Ukraine. The studies of the scholarship holders were made possible thanks to the development cooperation funds of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In the academic year 2017/2018 Estonian School of Diplomacy (ESD), in co-operation with the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, offers full scholarships for young diplomats and civil servants to participate in the Postgraduate Diploma program International Relations and European Integration taking place at the Estonian School of Diplomacy in Tallinn, from September 2017 until May 2018.
– Training course International Relations and European Integration with the value of 60 ECTS Credit Points starts on September, 18 2017 and ends on May 31, 2018;
– Successful students will receive the ESD Diploma and Academic Record;
– Students from Estonia and from other countries study together. Language of instruction is English;
– Lecturers come from Estonia, other European countries, and the United States;
– Detailed curriculum for 2017/2018 is available on ESD website;
– The training course includes three thematic modules:
– tuition fee;
– monthly allowance (450 EUR);
– accommodation in Tallinn (incl. utilities and internet connection);
– health insurance in Estonia during the studies;
– cost of Schengen visa and Estonian residence permit;
– scholarship does NOT cover the costs of travel to and from Tallinn.
The person applying for the scholarship:
– comes from a country eligible for ODA (see http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/daclist.htm)
– is not older than 35 years (when applying);
– has at least a BA degree;
– has very good command of English (speaking, reading, writing skills are required at the level of advanced);
– is currently employed by their country’s/territory’s foreign or civil service and has been working there for at least one year;
– is highly motivated to learn about international relations and related disciplines. Priority will be given to the candidates strongly motivated to continue their professional careers within the service of their respective country/territory;
– is hard working, co-operative and ready for cross-cultural study environment.
The applicant should present:
– ESD application form (downloadable HERE);
– CV in English;
– Motivation letter (1 page/300-400 words, explaining the reasons for applying, previous experience and how the studies will benefit the student’s future development);
– copies of university transcript in (unofficial) English translation, i.e. diploma of higher education and academic record;
– copy of (international) passport;
– 1 passport-sized photograph (to be added to the application form);
– academic essay (1,300-1,500 words with references) to be written on one of the topics below:
1. My three visions on future US foreign policy
2. Europe after Brexit
3. A new international settlement for the Middle East
4. Quo vadis Eastern Partnership?
– Application documents can be submitted from April 14, 2017 by using Online Scholarship Application System.
– Application must reach ESD by June 9, 2017 at the latest. Skype interviews will be conducted with shortlisted candidates.
– All candidates will be informed by e-mail about their enrolment status at the latest on June 19, 2017.
– Selected participants are expected to arrive in Tallinn on September 16-17, 2017.
– For further questions please contact Kristiina-Maria Ploom firstname.lastname@example.org
On March 13-17, ESD hosted a group of 23 Georgian civil servants form various ministries who came to Tallinn to gain knwoledge on EU approximation and learn the best practices of Estonia. The civil servants, who had been previously following an extensive training program in the Georgian Foundation of Strategic Studies (GFSIS), met with Estonian EU experts: Mr Keit Kasemets, Head of the EU Commission Representation in Tallinn; and Mr Taavi Rõivas, the Former Prime Minister, who gave and overview of the steps of Estonia’s EU pre-accession period and relevant reform experience as well as the benefits of EU memberships during the last 13 years. The visit also included a lecture on preparations for the Estonian EU Council Presidency, discussions on perspectives of Eastern Partnership, current security challenges and ICT. In addition the Georgian participants strenghtened their skills on international and EU negotiations; and met their respective local counterpast in ministries.
The visit was organised in cooperation with GFSIS. It makes part of a larger development project supported by the Swedish International Development Agency.
On 16-20 January a group of 14 Ukrainian diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine were on a study visit to Tallinn and Helsinki. The week was intense and full of both formal and informal meetings on foreign and security policy, international relations, e-governance, cyber security, ICT, e-voting, and the priorities of Estonia’s Pesidency of the EU Council.
While visiting the MFA Estonia, the UA delegation had the pleasure of hearing from their Estonian colleagues about the priorities of the Estonian foreign policy and business diplomacy. At the Estonian Parliament and at the ICDS, the UA delegation were introduced to the Estonian perspective on the current security challenges in Europe and its neighbourhood. Mr Hannes Hanso, the Head of the National Defence Committee of Riigikogu, and Mr Ants Laaneots, the member of the Estonia-Ukraine parliamentary group in Riigikogu, went deep into discussion about the current security situation in Ukraine and future perspectives of it.
The top moment of the visit was the Ukrainian diplomat’s meeting with Mr Sven Mikser, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. Minister Mikser underlined
the importance of ongoing bilateral relations between Estonia and Ukraine and acccentuated both Estonia’s and Europe’s continuous support to Ukraine in its reforms.
During the study trip the UA delegation visited also the Finnish MFA and the Helsinki based Crisis Management Initiative (CMI). The discussions focused on Finnish foreign policy, Finnish-Ukrainian bilateral relations and various conflict resolution cases currently on the table at CMI.
The visit of Ukrainian diplomats to Tallinn is financed by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the resources of Estonian development cooperation.
Mrs Marina Kaljurand visited the Diplomatic Training Center of the Georgian MFA and participated in panel discussion Nordic-Baltic Security Cooperation: Facing Threts From Russia
On 13-17 December the ESD graduate and the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Mrs Marina Kaljurand visited ESD’s project partner in Georgia – the Diplomatic Training Centre (DTC) of the Georgian MFA. In the frame of the visit Mrs Kaljurand gave a 2-day lecture course on practical diplomacy, and information and communication technologies. In addition, on Dec 16 Mrs Kaljurand together with Director Ekke Nõmm participated in a panel discussion entitled “Nordic-Baltic Security Cooperation: Facing Threats From Russia” co-organised by ESD and the Geogrian Foundation of Strategic and Interantional Studies.
The visit Mrs Kaljurand was financed by the resources of Estonian development cooperation in the framework of mulilateral project aimed at developing the capacity of DTC.
On Dec 14 Prof Egdūnas Račius from Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania gave a public lecture on „What Cultural Environment the Refugees of the Middle East come from: A Look Beyond Islam”. In his lecture Mr Račius focused on two key topics. Firstly, he argued that it’s important to understand that not all refugees of the Middle East are Muslims – a common misconception. Mr Račius underlined that, in fact, non-Muslims face a bigger risk of being the target of insurgents and rebels due to which they are forced to flee their countr…ies. Secondly, in order to draw some conclusions on the cultural background of the refugees, one ought to understand what it actually means to be a Muslim in contemporary world. Yet, given the West’s lack of knowledge of both Islam and Muslims, there is a tendency to dislike everything related to Muslims: their behaviour, beliefs and culture. Mr Račius stressed that one should make a difference between muslimophobia and islamophobia. While the former is culture-focused hatred, the latter is religion-focused hostility.
This public lecture was organised by ESD in the framework of Estonian Network of Anna Lindh Foundation. In Feb 2016 ESD was elected the head organisation of ALF Estonia.
Invited to Tallinn by Estonian Parliament Riigikogu, Mr Klaus Welle, the Secretary General of the European Parliament, visited Tallinn on 2nd of Dec to hold a public lecture and meet the students of ESD. Mr Welle held a short speech entitleled The EU – Preparing For The Next 25 Years in which he looked the roots of all recent crisis in Europe: financial crisis, migration crisis, reviving views of political extremism etc. According to Welle, the blame for crisis lies within the EU member states that have not properly followed the rules and regulations set by the EU. For Welle it is important to ensure the implementation of three crucial security conceptions: external security, internal security and social security, which sould be granted within the EU as well as in it’s neighbourhood.
The main message of Welle’s address was that the EU should transit from its current, predominantly legislative regime to a supplementary, scrutinising and executive regime. The EU should offer capabilities when member states’ capacities have been exhausted. This includes the EU looking the at developments on all levels of member states’ actions. SG Welle pointed out that the integration of the EU is likely to continue, but there should be no euphoria to expect treay changes as the potentials of existing treaties have not been sufficiently used and exhausted yet.
ESD students asked Mr Welle questions related to security and Eastern Partnership. The event was moderated by ESD Director Mr Ekke Nõmm.
We thank the Information Bureau of European Parliament in Tallinn.
On 17-21 Oct 6 diplomats from Morocco, Jordan and Egypt came to a study visit to Tallinn. The aim of the visit was to refresh exiting relations, to generate new ideas for cooperation, to discuss foreign policy and security matters and introduce Estonian reform experience. Arab diplomats met with Estonian colleagues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to learned about Estonian foreign policy priorities. Presentations touched upon consular, business, cultural and public diplomacy as well as e-services, e-government and cyber security. The program also included a brief training course on the EU’s external affairs and foreign policy. In addition, a public seminar entitled “Perception of Current Security Threats in Europe and Arabia” too place with security analysts from Estonia: Mr Erkki Bahovski (Editor in chief of Diplomaatia) and Mr Pauli Järvenpää (researcher at ICDS). The discussion was moderated by ESD Director Mr Ekke Nõmm.
The study visit included a brief trip to Helsinki to meet Finnish colleagues at the MFA. The discussions focused on broader Northern European context.
The visit of Arab diplomats to Tallinn was financed by Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the recourses of Estonian development cooperation.
International Forum on Diplomatic Training is an annual informal gathering that brings together deans and directors of diplomatic academies and institutes of IR accross the wordl. The forum held its 43rd meeting on 20-23 Sep in Canberra, Australia, hosted by Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University. The agenda focused on challenges and opportunities for diplomacy in, what has been widely dubbed, the Asian Century. The forum looked at the big picture of current trends in IR, the regional picture of Asia-Pacific diplomacy, and the picture of a diplomat who has to develop skill-sets to navigate both challenges and opportunities in Asia and beyond.
In the event ESD was represented by Director Ekke Nõmm. The IFDT operates as a conference of network building, exhange of ideas and opportunities for cooperation. For more information read click here.
The event was opened by keynote speech of Prof Alan Hendrikson, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA. Prof Henrikson has been a guest lecturer at ESD in spring 2015.